Rescued Jaguar Cub Finds Home at Audubon Zoo
Audubon Zoo recently welcomed a seven-month-old female jaguar that U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rescued from a wildlife trafficking situation. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums reached out to Audubon to care for this animal because the Zoo is experienced and equipped to house two jaguars.
“This rescue effort was an amazing example of how zoos, government agencies, and conservationist work together for the greater good,” said Audubon Zoo’s Curator of Primates Liz Wilson. “She is adjusting well to her new environment, and we cannot wait for our guests to meet her.”
Each jaguar’s spot pattern is unique, and guests will be able to spot the difference between the new female and Valerio, the Zoo’s male jaguar.
“In preparation for the new jaguar, the Zoo has made some modifications to its habitat by adding additional jumping and climbing platforms to increase vertical usage of the space. This will allow our guests to see the jaguars up close with viewing at eye level,” said Wilson.
Jaguars in the wild are decreasing in number with estimates of around 15,000 or less left. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, jaguars are considered near threatened, mainly due to poaching, human-wildlife conflict, and habitat loss.
Thanks to the Zemurray Foundation’s continued support of Jaguar Jungle, this young Jaguar, along with Valerio, will serve as an important ambassador for the animals of Central and South America to the people of New Orleans. Jaguars are part of AZA’s Saving Animals From Extinction (SAFE) program, which focuses the collective expertise within AZA-accredited facilities to save endangered species.
AZA-accredited zoos have an established, long-term commitment to jaguar conservation. Since the mid-1980s, AZA member institutions have been funding, conducting, and supporting jaguar-related fieldwork in Central and South America. Using objectives outlined by the IUCN Species Survival Commission Cat Specialist Group, the SAFE jaguar program is focused on protecting jaguars primarily in Central America, and expanding capacity to protect jaguars throughout their range.
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Audubon Nature Institute operates a family of museums, parks and research facilities dedicated to celebrating the wonders of nature. Through innovative live animal exhibits, education programs, and scientific discovery, Audubon makes a meaningful contribution to preserving wildlife for the future. Audubon Nature Institute flagships include Audubon Park, Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Entergy Giant Screen Theater, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center, Woldenberg Riverfront Park and Audubon Wilderness Park. Ron Forman is President and CEO of Audubon Nature Institute.